Gazella arabica Lichtenstein, 1827

Arabian gazelle



Taxonomy & Nomenclature

Synonym/s: Antilope arabica Lichtenstein, 1827; Gazella arabica arabica Lichtenstein, 1827; Gazella gazella arabica Lichtenstein, 1827


The type locality given is the Farasan Islands, Saudi Arabia (Lichtenstein, 1827). However, this is highly unlikely (IUCN SSC Antelope Specialist Group, 2008). This species is now believed to be invalid (Bärmann et al. 2012), but has also been claimed to have been rediscovered recently (Boug et al. 2012), and to have been reintroduced to parts of Saudi Arabia where it formerly occurred (Shah et al. 2013). Taxonomic confusion is surely at work here and the conservation status of the true Arabian gazelle (Gazella arabica) should be investigated with a view to resolving the massive conflict in the literature (i.e. extinct vs. alive and well).


Conservation Status

Invalid (synonym)

Last record: 1825

IUCN RedList status: Data Deficient



Farasan Islands, Saudi Arabia (allegedly)


Biology & Ecology




Only known from the holotype according to (IUCN SSC Antelope Specialist Group, 2008). However, Ward (1892:41) lists two specimens.






Original scientific description:

Lichtenstein, H. (1828). Über die Springmäuse oder die Arten der Gattung Dipus. Abhandlungen der Königlichen Akademie der Wissenschaften in Berlin, 1825: 133-162. [correct reference?]


Other references:

Anonymous. (1964). A preliminary list of rare mammals including those believed to be rare but concerning which detailed information is still lacking. IUCN Bulletin 11(Special Supplement): 4 pp.

Bärmann, E. V., Börner, S., Rössner, G. E., Hebel, C., Hammer, S., Erpenbeck, D. and Wörheide, G. (2011). Gazella arabica - lost and found? Proceedings of the 85th Annual Meeting of the German Society of Mammalogy, Luxembourg.

Bärmann, E. V., Börner, S., Erpenbeck, D., Rössner, G. E., Hebel, C. and Wörheide, G. (2012). The curious case of Gazella arabica. Mammalian Biology - Zeitschrift für Säugetierkunde 78(3): 220-225. [Abstract]

Bärmann, E. V., Wronski, T., Lerp, H., Azanza, B., Börner, S., Erpenbeck, D., Rössner, G. E. and Wörheide, G. (2013). A morphometric and genetic framework for the genus Gazella de Blainville, 1816 (Ruminantia: Bovidae) with special focus on Arabian and Levantine mountain gazelles. Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society, 169: 673-696. [Abstract]

Boug, Ahmed, M. Zafar-ul Islam, Abdullah Al Shehry, Torsten Wronski. (2012). Camera trapping confirms the persistence of Arabian Gazelles, Gazella arabica, in the Asir Mountains, Saudi Arabia. Zoology in the Middle East 57(1): 3-10.

Groves, Colin P. (1983). Notes on the gazelles. 4. The Arabian gazelles collected by Hemprich and Ehrenberg. Zeitschrift für Säugetierkunde 48: 371-381.

Groves C.P., 1996. Taxonomic diversity in Arabian gazelles: The state of the art. In: Greth A., Magin C., Ancrenaz M. (Eds.). Conservation of Arabian gazelles. National Commission for Wildlife Conservation and Development, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia pp. 8-39.

Groves C.P., 1997. Taxonomy of Arabian gazelles. In: Habibi K., Abu-Zinada A., Nader I. (Eds.). The gazelles of Arabia. National Commission for Wildlife Conservationand Development, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia pp. 24-51.

Groves C.P., Grubb P., 2011. Ungulate taxonomy. Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore.

Groves C.P., Harrison D.L., 1967. The taxonomy of the gazelles (genus Gazella) of Arabia. J. Zool., Lond. 152(4): 381-387.

Hadas L., Hermon D., Boldo A., Arieli G., Gafny R., King R., Bar-Gal G.K., 2015. Wild gazelles of the southern Levant: Genetic profiling defines new conservation priorities. PLoS ONE 10(3): e0116401. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0116401

Harrison D.L., Bates P.J.J., 1991. The mammals of Arabia, 2nd ed. Harrison Zoological Museum, Kent, UK.

IUCN SSC Antelope Specialist Group. (2008). Gazella arabica. In: IUCN 2011. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2011.1. ( Downloaded on 29 October 2011.

Islam, M. Z. Watcher, T., Boug, A. & Wronski, T. (2011). Population development of re-introduced Arabian Gazelle in the western Empty Quarter (Uruq Bani Ma’arid Protected Area), Saudi Arabia, pp. 180-184. In: Soorae P.S. (Ed.). Global re-introduction perspectives: 2011. Additional case studies from around the globe. IUCN/SSC Re-introduction Specialist Group, Abu Dhabi, UAE.

Lange J., 1972. Studien an Gazellenschädeln. Ein Beitrag zur Systematik der kleineren Gazellen, Gazella (De Blainville, 1816). Säugetierkd. Mitt. 20(2): 193-249. [In German]

Lerp, H., Wronski, T., Plath, M., Schröter, A. and Pfenninger, M. (2013). Phylogenetic and population genetic analyses confirm the existence of a distinct species boundary between Mountain (Gazella gazella) and Arabian Gazelles (G. arabica) in the Levant. Mammalian Biology 78(5): 383-386. [Abstract]

Mallon, D. P. and Kingswood, S. C. (2001). Antelopes. Part 4: North Africa, the Middle East, and Asia. Global Survey and Regional Action Plans. Gland, Switzerland and Cambridge, UK: IUCN/SSC Antelope Specialist Group.

Scott, Peter (ed.). (1965). Preliminary List of Rare Mammals and Birds, pp. 155-237. In: The Launching of a New Ark. First Report of the President and Trustees of the World Wildlife Fund. An International Foundation for saving the world's wildlife and wild places 1961-1964. London: Collins.

Shah, Moayyad Sher, Islam, M. Zafar-ul and Bough, Ahmed. (2013). Re-introduction of Arabian gazelles in a fenced Protected Area in central Saudi Arabia, pp. 174-179. In: Soorae, P. S. (ed.). Global Re-introduction Perspectives: 2013. Further case studies from around the globe. Gland, Switzerland: IUCN/SSC Re-introduction Specialist Group and Abu Dhabi, UAE: Environment Agency-Abu Dhabi. xiv + 282 pp. [automatic download]

Shalmon, Benny and Wronski, Torsten. (2021). The conservation history of Arabian gazelles (Gazella arabica) in Israel — do fifty-five years monitoring help to define future incentives. Animal Science, MedDocs Publishers. Vol. 1, Chapter 3, pp. 21-38.

Thouless, C. R. and Al Bassri, K. (1991). Taxonomic status of the Farasan Island gazelle. Journal of Zoology, London 223: 151-159. [Abstract]

Vassart M., Granjon L., Greth A., 1995. Genetic study of Gazella gazella: Chromosomal and allozymic data. C. R. Acad. Sci. III, Science de la Vie 318(1): 27-33.

Ward, Rowland. (1892). Horn measurements and weights of the great game of the world: being a record for the use of sportsmen and naturalists. London: The Jungle, 264 pp. [p. 114]

Wronski, T., Apio, A., Plath, M . and Ziege, M. (2013). Sex-difference in the communicatory significance of localized defecation sites in Arabian gazelles (Gazella arabica). Journal of Ethology. doi: 10.1007/s10164-012-0357-6

Wronski T., Butynski T.M., 2014. “Five minutes to midnight” for Arabian gazelles Gazella arabica in Harrat Uwayrid, north-western Saudi Arabia. Gnusletter 32(1): 3-5.

Wronski, T., Lerpe, H., Bärmann, E. V. et al. (2017). Dark grey gazelles Gazella (Cetartiodactyla: Bovidae) in Arabia: Threatened species or domestic pet? Hystrix, the Italian Journal of Mammalogy 28(1): 78-85.

Wronski T, Sandouka M.A., Butynski T.M., 2011. Twenty years conservation and monitoring of re-introduced mountain gazelle in the Ibex Reserve, Saudi Arabia. In: Soorae P.S. (Ed.). Global re-introduction perspectives: 2011. Additional case studies from around the globe. IUCN/SSC Re-introduction Specialist Group, Abu Dhabi, UAE pp. 175-179.

Wronski T., Wacher T., Hammond R.L., Winney B., Hundertmark K.J., Blacket M.J., Mohammed O.B., Flores B., Omer S.A., Macasero W., Plath M., Tiedemannh R., Bleidorn C., 2010a. Two reciprocally monophyletic mtDNA lineages elucidate the taxonomic status of mountain gazelles (Gazella gazella). Syst. Biodivers. 8(1): 119-129.


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